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Scientist highlights subsurface concerns at site in East Carbon

By C.J. MCMANUS
Sun Advocate reporter

On Oct. 10, Mark Crim from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality addressed the East Carbon City Council regarding a site assessment for 123 East Whitmore Drive.

The environmental scientist reported that a subsurface investigation of the site performed by the UDEQ on Aug. 15 and 16 found three areas of concern at the property.

The first concern is beneath a dispenser island in front of the building.

The second is the location of an oil spill north the above ground tanks (AST's) on the property.

The third is beneath the AST's may need additional work depending on the proposed future use.

"The work to get the area in compliance with UDEQ standards should only entail removing soil from the property," said Crim.

The environmental scientist recommended that cleanup from both sights be done readily.

The UDEQ proposes that for clean-up approximately 30 cubic yards of soil from beneath the dispenser island and about 80 cubic yards of soil from the waste-oil surface spill be removed.

Councilmember David Maggio suggested that the contaminated soil be evacuated and deposited in the ECDC landfill.

Additionally, Crim recommended investigative work to determine if groundwater is affected by the historic petroleum contamination.

The investigation is currently being arranged by the UDEQ.

When conducting the initial study, Crim ran into hard sandstone at a depth of 25 feet that prohibited him from taking ground water samples at that time.

Depending on final land use, UDEQ cleanup may also include the use of institutional controls.

This includes many options concerning land use such as building types, placement of buildings and possibly engineered controls.

"The mutual goal of this project is to turn an under utilized property into a useful and active part of the community," said Crim.

Work on the additional investigation will be led by the UDEQ, while future cleanup or engineered controls would be a joint effort of East Carbon City and the state agency.

For costs associated with the cleanup, Crim pointed to Paul Zahn and the UDEQ representative's expertise in procurring grant monies through the department.

Zahn reported that, in November, applications would be taken for a petroleum brown fields assessment grant.

"The brown fields grant is a competitive funding program that runs nationwide, when the money given to a small community would have a large impact and the fund request will be relatively small, it can have a great chance at getting approved," said Zahn.

According to Crim, East Carbon City needs to decide final land use matters in order to better direct the project and to evaluate what resources it has to offer.

Examples include time and materials, backhoes, dump-trucks, clean fill and soil disposal options.

At this point in the meeting, Councilmember Joyce Caviness inquired whether the city should include removal of the above ground tanks in the cleanup effort.

Crim indicated that, if the city has a good relationship with ECDC, deposing of the tanks would not significantly increase the cleanup costs.

"By conducting this partnership, East Carbon City and the UDEQ are leveraging resources. This environmental partnership for site assessment, cleanup and reuse is a cost effective way to bring an under utilized property into a useful and active part of the community," concluded Crim.






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